One Woman’s Story
On my first day as an Intern on a children’s TV show, the producer pinned/cornered me against a wall behind bleachers (where his pregnant wife and the audience was sitting) and propositioned me.
I never returned to that job or the industry. Instead, I drove home, crying and heartbroken.
In my mind, there wasn’t really anything I could do, other than not return, because now I knew – THAT was NOT what I wanted to face each day in my career! Given that it showed up so blatantly and on the first day, proved to me that the stories I had heard were true! So, that was that.
My own dad was a producer/director, but he did this outside of Hollywood. I grew up hearing stories of how “sleezy” the industry was, but also thought it might be possible to dodge that part of the job. I had worked on other productions outside of Hollywood with no problem, but this was the first one IN Hollywood. I felt it was my big break!
Because it seemed that there was no dodging the bad behavior, that took my first choice of careers off the list. That was it. Done. On to plan B…
This to me seems so obvious, then and now… he should never have put me in that situation.
Looking back on it now, with my 22-year-old brain…
There was nothing he could have done to make amends after he crossed the line because I would never have believed him. If he could have said anything to keep me hired on, he could have said… “Don’t you leave, I will leave. I will not be back on this set. You will not have to encounter me ever again. I’m so sorry young lady.” This is the only thing that I could imagine now that could have encouraged me to return. But there was too much fear for me to want to come back, if he were still in the workplace. He was the producer and a powerful man. Though it was a public place, nobody saw. I wanted nothing to do with that.
Looking back on it now, with my 53-year-old brain…
I am strong enough in myself now to know that if he remained on the set, I could handle myself and my fears. But there would still be nothing he could say to convince me he would believe that he would not do it again.
Today… he could go to therapy and get help. That’s the only way I think he could change.
If he showed up at my door to make amends, here are the things he could do to make things right: He would need to admit it to his wife, and his children and vow not to do it again (unless he went to therapy, I would not trust that he could keep that vow). And he should not have contact with young people.
How do you repair this? It’s irrevocable. It’s not like you can go back from an advance like that. You can’t undo it.
Who knows what my life would have been like, if he never propositioned me. If he never treated me so shamefully. If I never felt that I had to flee from this career because of just one man.